A majority of political operatives believe there is a high likelihood that a government shutdown will occur this weekend, according to a National Journal Political Insiders Poll conducted Thursday afternoon before President Obama’s meeting with congressional leaders in the evening.
The Political Insiders were asked: “On a scale of zero to 10—with zero being no chance at all—what’s the likelihood of a government shutdown starting this weekend?” Republican Insiders were slightly more pessimistic, with 53% putting the odds at “7” or greater, while 49% of the Democratic Insiders rated the chances of a government shutdown that high. Just over a fifth of both the Democratic and Republican Insiders thought there was a low likelihood of a shutdown, rating the chances at “3” out of 10, or lower.
The survey included 79 Republican Insiders and 78 Democrats.
Many Republicans think the two parties are bracing themselves for a confrontation, each believing they will gain from a government shutdown that will begin at midnight Friday if no spending agreement is reached. “Both sides believe they can politically benefit from one so the incentive to make a deal is less,” said one GOP Insider. Another echoed: “Not enough reason to abandon built-in fortifications until the media chooses sides.” A Democratic Insider concurred: “Both parties have strong political incentives to hold ground.”
Some in both parties also felt that Republican House Speaker John Boehner, who has had to deal with his own divided caucus as he negotiates with President Obama and Senate Democrats over the continuing resolution, may need a shutdown in order to bring his hard-liners around to an eventual deal. “It’ll be short,” predicted one GOP insider. “Boehner will use the backlash to teach his hard-liners a lesson.” A Democratic Insider observed that, “Boehner needs to give tea [party] people a shutdown as condition for subsequent compromise—this is why he sent the face CR. It gives them a fig leaf to say ‘it wasn’t our fault’ and all but guarantees the shut down House tea party is demanding.”
Still, some Insiders were predicting the two sides would step back from the precipice, in part because neither party can be sure who voters will hold responsible for a shutdown and the disruptions it would cause. “Both sides are concerned as to who gets blamed—the public is not in a forgiving mood,” said a Democrat. “It’s in everyone’s interest to cut a deal,” added a GOP Insider.
On a scale of zero to 10 [with zero being no chance at all], what’s the likelihood of a government shutdown starting this weekend?
All Insiders (157 votes)
- zero 1%
- 1-3 22%
- 4-6 27%
- 7-10 51%
Democrats (78 votes)
- zero 1%
- 1-3 22%
- 4-6 28%
- 7-10 49%
Republicans (79 votes)
- zero 0%
- 1-3 22%
- 4-6 25%
- 7-10 53%
The National Journal Political Insiders Poll is a regular survey of political operatives, strategists, campaign consultants and lobbyists in both parties.
Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Deb Callahan, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Kam Kuwata, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bill Lynch, Bob Maloney, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Scott Parven, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Wendy Sherman, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Katrina Swett Sarah, Swisher, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.
GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Steve Duprey, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Mindy Fletcher, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, George S. LeMieux, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Connie Partoyan, Dana Perino, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, and Fred Wszolek.